The start was originally planned for June 3, but exceptionally wet and stormy weather forced organizers to cancel that evening due to safety concerns. Such cancellations are very rare in the 37-year history of the Mardis Cyclistes de Lachine.
Last year, Simon Lambert-Lemay (Garneau Québécor) won an unprecedented six stage races and established a new course speed record (58:16 over 50km) on his way to becoming the 2013 Mardis champion. We will see if he can hang onto his title and his records this season after surgery to correct a heart problem last December. The 23-year-old Lambert-Lemay will also stiff challenges from many young competitors eager to wrestle the Pro-Elite cup away from the defending champion.
Among the women, Team SAS Mazda-Macogep p/b Specialized will be there, hoping to steal the series title away from Élisabeth Albert (La Vie Sportive Apogée p/b Opus) who has been the champion for an unprecedented five years in a row.
Since 1978, the Mardis Cyclistes have seen remarkable development; the ten (10) weekly stage races regularly attract cyclists from across Québec and Ontario while visiting teams make guest appearances from as far away as New Zealand. The founder and president of the Mardis series, Joseph “Tino” Rossi, expresses his deep gratitude to major sponsors such as le Groupe Jean Coutu (pharmacy), Specialized Quilicot, LaSalle Fiat, Bijouterie Jean-Guy Aubry (jewellers), la Caisse populaire Desjardins Provost de Lachine, and Samson Groupe Conseil. Many other sponsors including Ristorante Andréa (Lachine) and the laiterie Challifoux (dairy), etc. also play key roles.
The 2013 honorary president, Pierre Beaudin, and many other key people in the Maris organisation will be on hand to watch over what has become the most prestigious criterium series in Canada. Many hundreds of spectators and road cycling fans are also expected. Those who arrive early are guaranteed of front row seating for this free sporting event.
There will be weekly stage races every Tuesday evening from June 10 through August 12 with multiple laps on a 1.61km circuit around Lasalle Park in the Montreal borough of Lachine. The minimes start first at 5:30 p.m., followed by the cadets, masters and women at 6 p.m. Then at 6:50 p.m., the start gun fires for the senior men who wow the crowds, maintaining average speeds of 50 km/h and sprinting up to 70 km/h.